Occupational Safety and Health Expectations

Robert, an occupational safety and health trainer, is looking for a position within a well-known manufacturing company. He has some experience, but what else will a potential employer look for when choosing a trainer?

OSHA does not approve, certify, or endorse individual trainers or training programs. OSHA standards do identify qualified trainers as those who have satisfactorily completed an instructional program (train-the-trainer) or who otherwise have the academic credentials and instructional experience necessary to teach a specific training program.

Therefore, Robert will need to first document and create a resume specific to the job. His resume should include education, training, experience in the field, and professional references.

Robert must be able to demonstrate proficiency and understanding of the material to be taught to trainees and have some credentials or experience in training adults. He must also continue to attend training in order to maintain his knowledge and skills. Although it is ultimately the responsibility of the employer to determine if Robert or another trainer meets the requirements and qualifications under OSHA, Robert should make this as easy as possible for the employer to validate his training and experience.

According to ANSI Z490.1-2009, Robert should be “competent” in developing and implementing the various elements of an effective safety training program. He can gain competency by achieving an appropriate level of technical knowledge, skills and abilities in the subjects they teach. Robert can gain these skills through training, continuing education, and on-the-job experience.

Robert’s potential employer will need to document his competency by maintaining course completion certificates, experience records, licensing, and other documents. The methods used to document the competency are left to the discretion of the employer.

Potential trainers, such as Robert, should also be competent in effective safety training delivery techniques and methods that are appropriate to employee learning preferences. They should be able to apply adult learning principles appropriate to the target audience and the learning objectives.

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